Journal of Air Law and Commerce


The Journal of Air Law and Commerce, a quarterly publication of the School of Law, is the oldest scholarly periodical in the English language devoted primarily to the legal and economic problems affecting aviation and space.

Since its foundation at Northwestern University in 1930 and move to SMU in 1961, the Journal of Air Law & Commerce continues to publish articles addressing domestic and international problems of the airline industry, private aviation, space, and general legal topics with a significant impact on aviation. Articles are written by distinguished lawyers, economists, government officials, and scholars. The Journal also publishes editorial comments written by students. Readership is worldwide with more than 2,300 subscribers in 54 countries.

The Journal sponsors SMU’s annual Air Law Symposium on selected problems in aviation law. More than 500 aviation lawyers and industry representatives attend the Symposium annually.


Recent Articles in Volume 87, Issue 4 (2022)

Personal Jurisdiction on the Move

By Kirsten M. Castañeda – In Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the standards for establishing specific personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant in federal court. The Court rejected previous interpretations of specific jurisdiction that required a causal connection between the defendant’s forum contacts and the plaintiff’s alleged facts. This reorientation has had a ripple effect on specific personal jurisdiction inquiries in federal and state courts across the nation, including courts in the Fifth Circuit and Texas. This Article passes through the basics of general jurisdiction en route to a more leisurely exploration of the clarified specific jurisdiction standards and the ways in which it already has been applied in various federal and state courts. In addition, this Article swings by the Texas Supreme Court’s latest opinion on jurisdictional discovery. Buckle up for this scenic tour of personal jurisdiction, on the move.

Customary International Law as a Vessel for Global Accord: The Case of Customary Rules-of- the-Road for Governing the Orbital Highways of Earth 

By Hjalte Osborn Frandsen – In a time where the international community seems unable or unwilling to commit to binding instruments to solve global-governance issues, ranging from climate to cybercrime, increased reliance on customary norms presents a path forward. Using the case of space traffic, this author investigates if and how customary international law can emerge to govern complex transnational issues. The traditional approach to international custom is augmented with perspectives from the broader field of social science to accord for the influence of private actors and technological development on the formation of customary law. [...


Read more from current issue




Administrative Assistant
Lisa Ponce

Maggie Gianvecchio

Pauline Hodencq

Managing Editor
Gill Clements

Air Law Symposium Editors
Cayro Bustos
Nathan Flanigan
Ashley Hutcheson
Stephanie Kim




Submission Instructions


Related links

Annual Air Law Symposium

SMU Annual Texas Survey

SMU Law Review

SMU Law Review Forum

Current Masthead

Write-on Information